Since January 1st 2021, new regulations and procedures apply for the customs duties and taxes involved in importing and exporting goods to and from the United Kingdom. What customs duties will now be applied to trade between Germany and the United Kingdom? How much tax will be charged? What customs procedures are now involved? Here is an overview of the regulation and procedures that currently apply to companies that trade with the United Kingdom.
The Brexit transition period came to an end on December 31st 2020. Brexit itself had already been "done" on January 31st 2020. The United Kingdom left the European Union.
Consequently, the United Kingdom has been a third country since January 2021. However, the EU and the UK have signed a free trade agreement, intended to regulate the future trade in goods.
Although this agreement has been ratified by the UK government, it is still to be ratified by the European Union (as of January 4th 2021) and is therefore not yet officially in force. However, all the regulations in this agreement are provisionally applicable. For companies, this means that they already needed to put customs and import formalities in place as if the agreement were already in force.
The most important customs and import tax regulations affecting companies are listed below. They apply exclusively to the sale of goods, not services.
Value-added taxes on imports
The situation in Northern Ireland differs from Great Britain (mainland UK), means that different regulations apply to goods shipped to or from there.
Export and import regulations in Northern Ireland are still subject to EU law. In other words, the procedures are the same as if Northern Ireland were still a member of the EU. There are no customs formalities and the VAT regulations are the same as the EU regulations, as long as the goods remain in Northern Ireland.
Goods that enter Northern Ireland from non-EU member states (including Great Britain (mainland UK)) are subject to the rules set out in the relevant EU trade agreements and the EU's customs regulations. In this case, goods may be subject to additional checks (for example, if animals are being transported).
Additional information about customs formalities and taxes: The EU has drawn up a list of FAQs with the 59 most important questions and answers about taxes and customs duties. This list goes into greater detail about the issues described above.
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